Divorce and Family Law Mediation

Mediation is an extremely useful tool for settling your family law case. Family law mediation is an informal method of alternative dispute resolution available to separating or divorcing spouses. It is used primarily to settle issues including:

  • custody, guardianship and access;
  • parenting plans;
  • child support;
  • spousal support; and
  • division of property, assets and liabilities.

Mediation is cost effective and expeditious. It eliminates court case conferences, legal paperwork and ongoing legal costs between opposing lawyers. Where children are involved, family law mediation is for their benefit. It maintains communication between the parents and seeks to settle matters in an amicable way.

The spouses select a family law mediator, a neutral and impartial third-party who is a lawyer, and who guides them throughout their negotiations to reach a settlement of the issues relating to their separation or divorce. However, mediators cannot grant a divorce; only the court is empowered to issue a divorce order.

Family law mediation involves a series of settlement meetings between you, your former spouse and Ms. Gilsig, the family law mediator. During your mediation meetings, Ms. Gilsig will teach you and your former spouse how to better communicate with each other and strive to improve your post-separation or post-divorce relationship. This will make the transitions of financial and emotional separation and co-parenting much easier for all the family members involved. The ability of divorcing spouses to be civil, amicable and effectively communicate with one another will make co-parenting more peaceful and any future amendments to the written agreement much easier to execute.

Once you and your spouse decide to separate or divorce you may decide to mediate the issues stemming from the breakdown of your relationship or marriage. You may decide to engage in mediation as the only form of dispute resolution for your case, or in conjunction with litigation at court. For mediation to work both of you must consent to participate in mediation, agree on the same family law mediator and be willing to negotiate with each other. As a family law mediator, Marla Gilsig does not make any final decisions, rather the two of you must reach the decisions yourselves and together, guided by your family law mediator.

At the conclusion of the negotiations the goal is to incorporate all your decisions into a written agreement that is to be signed and adhered to by the two of you. Marla Gilsig is an accredited family law mediator who is qualified to draft your written agreement. When your written agreement is signed, dated and witnessed it becomes a valid and enforceable contract that is binding on you both. For your agreement to be enforceable there must be an absence of duress, fraud or mistake and there must have been full and honest disclosure of all relevant financial information. Mediation is often successful because in negotiating unique settlement terms, you are limited only by your own creativity while courts are limited in the relief that can be ordered.

Marla, even as a family law mediator, cannot give separate legal or strategic advice relating to the individual rights and obligations of either spouse or parent. Rather, her role is to remain neutral. However, she will educate both of you together about the legal rules governing things like custody and access, financial support, and division of property as well as guiding principals that courts follow like promoting the best interests of your children. She strongly recommends that you each hire your own lawyer to give you advice and represent your interests both during mediation and prior to signing the written agreement outlining your decisions. The involvement of lawyers during the entire mediation process usually results in quicker resolutions and there is often a greater probability that an agreement will be signed.

Ms. Gilsig provides family law mediation services in a confidential, timely and cost-efficient manner. Gilsig Divorce and Family Law Mediation will save you and your former spouse a lot of time and money because mediation is far more efficient than the court process. Court battles are enormously costly, time-consuming and, probably most significantly, emotionally damaging to you and your children. Family mediation reduces the emotional and psychological costs to you and your children associated with divorce and litigation because it is non-adversarial and does not pit the spouses and extended families against one another. It is equipped to deal with some of the complex, sensitive and private issues that can arise upon the breakdown of marriages or common law relationships.

Here are the benefits. With family law mediation, you can…

  • Avoid destructive divorce battles and instead focus on your needs and those of your children.
  • Resolve matters privately and avoid personal and financial details being publicized online.
  • Improve communication between parents and become a successful cooperative parenting team.
  • Focus on solutions—not emotional reactions—to create a better settlement for you both.
  • Fairly resolve divorce matters by developing a business-like approach to separation.
  • Get on with your lives more quickly through a fast and streamlined mediation process.

Plus significantly reduce the legal costs from a typical divorce.